Cauliflower, currant and mint hummus
( SERVES 8 )
Photo by Tam West
A recent culinary trip to Qatar inspired me to create variations of hummus — smooth and crunchy with sweet and savoury flavours. This can be served warm or at room temperature. A microwave is handy to gently heat both the puree and the chickpea topping separately, then assemble it fresh just before you’re about to eat it.
The puree can be made a day or two in advance but the topping is best made on the day. Lebanese bread can be replaced with wraps or tortillas.
|3 cups||Milk, use up to 4 cups|
|3 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|1||Small red onion, finely diced|
|1 tsp||Crushed garlic|
|½ tsp||Ground cumin|
|1 can||Chickpeas, 400g, drained and rinsed|
|1 Tbsp||Pomegranate molasses|
|2 Tbsp||Mint leaves, chopped|
|1 packet||Lebanese bread, for dipping|
- Pour half a cup of boiling water over the currants and allow to swell. Place the cauliflower upside down on a chopping board and use a knife to “shave” or finely slice off the flower part from the stalk. Use only the flowers as the stalk will give a bitter taste.
- Melt the butter in a large pot then add cauliflower shavings and 1 tsp of salt. Turn the heat up high and fry the cauliflower for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent colouration. Add enough milk to just cover, bring to the boil then turn down low to a very gentle simmer.
- On top of the cauliflower and milk place a paper lid — a disc of baking paper with a 2cm hole cut in the centre (this is known in French cooking as a cartouche, it keeps all the flavours in the pot and prevents excess evaporation). Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until completely soft.
- Drain well and reserve excess milk. While still hot, puree the cauliflower in a food processor or blender until completely smooth and creamy. Season with salt to taste. Scoop into an airtight container, allow to cool then store in the fridge.
- Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, add onion, garlic, cumin and coriander. Stir over a medium heat for 5 minutes then add the chickpeas and cook until they are hot.
- Drain the currants and add to the chickpeas along with 1 Tbsp olive oil, pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve: spread cauliflower puree, either cold or warmed, on to a plate, spoon warmed chickpea mix over the top then sprinkle with chopped fresh mint. Serve grilled or toasted Lebanese bread on the side.
More finger food from Geoff